[Coral-List] Caribbean MPA Managers' Meeting: August 7-11, 2006

Jim Hendee Jim.Hendee at noaa.gov
Tue Mar 14 14:05:39 EST 2006


This message is an invitation to Caribbean MPA managers to meet with selected data suppliers and information systems engineers to help design a next generation Web-based tool to aid in management and research, based on the integration of near real-time and other data. The meeting will be held at La Parguera, Puerto Rico, August 7-11, 2006, at the Parador Villa Parguera near Phosphorescent Bay.  

NOAA has committed to integrating ocean data from a variety of sources under a project called the Integrated Ocean Observing System.  NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program has also committed to integrating coral data from a variety of sources for the benefit of coral reef researchers and Marine Protected Area (MPA) managers, especially under the aegis of the Coral Reef Ecosystem Integrated Observing System program.  NOAA Research and the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) are participating in this venture by providing Web-based software to integrate various near real-time data sources, and by providing an inference engine (artificial intelligence tool) to provide ecosystem forecasts for MPA decision support under a program called the Integrated Coral Observing Network (ICON).

~~ What We Hope To Accomplish ~~

We hope to eventually be able to provide decision support for selected questions an MPA manager might have, such as:

    * Is increased weekend user activity negatively affecting water
      quality (turbidity, chlorophyll, nitrogen, wind/waves, for example)?
    * Can I detect a pollution event?
    * If there is an oil spill, can it be detected automatically and
      what direction will it travel?
    * When will selected fish/corals spawn (and where will they go)?
    * When will selected fish/invertebrates migrate?
    * Can I detect large ship intrusion into my MPA in time to stop a
      disaster on the reefs?
    * Can I detect large rainfall events, and how will these affect
      local run-off into my MPA?
    * How can I detect large-scale change in my reef systems?
    * When are conditions conducive to coral disease and/or bleaching?
    * When are conditions conducive to increased algal growth?
    * Can I detect significant harmful algal blooms in time to prevent
      fishing contaminated species?
    * Can I detect unauthorized access into my MPA?
    * How can I broadcast underwater live events (such as coral spawning
      or bleaching) and other outreach events to the public?
    * How can I see trends in environmental parameters through time, and
      can I receive notice when things change?

After the meeting, a document will be prepared which summarizes the Caribbean MPA Managers' requirements for data and research support, as well as questions such as these. This document will be used to guide the ICON team and colleagues in developing the software, but also in providing guidance to other software developers and researchers of all relevant disciplines.

~~ Attendance and Support ~~

Through NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program, and the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute, funds are being provided to support rooms for about 20 managers or their designates; however, there will be room for about 80 additional attendees in the conference hall. All attendees must provide their own air fare.

The priority on selecting attendees will be for managers from as many representative Caribbean MPAs as possible; however, a few special guests who are data suppliers will also be in attendance. The selection of attendees will be made by the Program Managers and will be based mainly on location and who first registered; however, you will have a chance to apply for attendance based on special considerations.  

A Web Page describing more about the project, as well as details and the form for registering can be found at:


All 20 officially invited attendees will be asked to give a 20 minute presentation describing their coral reef MPA, but concentrating especially on what their data, research and socioeconomic needs are. It doesn't matter if particular data streams are currently available or not: part of the purpose of the meeting is to determine which research data sources need to be gained for effective management. In turn, the ICON team will meet with the invitees as necessary for follow-up on how we can help.

The period for selection of the representative attendees will closed May 1, 2006. An announcement will be made shortly thereafter as to the supported and non-supported attendees. Non-supported attendees may continue to apply so long as the 100 slots are not filled.

~~ The New La Parguera Marine Reserve ICON/CREWS Station ~~

The La Parguera Marine Reserve is the site of the latest CREWS station, which is a data supplier to the ICON program. The University of Puerto Rico's Department of Marine Science at the Magueyes Island Marine Laboratory, and the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute (CCRI), are collaborating with AOML to maintain and operate this station.  We anticipate being able to provide some support for attendees to visit the station and the laboratory. Here are some links for more information:

    * http://www.coral.noaa.gov/crw/crw_data_lppr1_Web_12.html (CREWS
      Data Report)
    * http://lppr1-log.blogspot.com/ (temporary station maintenance page)
    * http://www.coral.noaa.gov/noaa/icon/crews-install.pdf (CREWS
      station installation description)
    * http://cima.uprm.edu/magueyes.html (Magueyes Island Marine Laboratory)
    * http://www.cop.noaa.gov/ecosystems/coralreefs/current/ccri-factsheet-cr.html
      (Caribbean Coral Reef Institute)

Thank you for your attention and support!

Sincerely yours,
 The Program Managers
  Jim Hendee, NOAA/AOML
  Richard Appledoorn, UPRM/CCRI
  Brian Keller, FKNMS

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